Kimberly Queen Fern

petra_gwFebruary 27, 2009

I need some advice! I recently bought a Kimberly Queen Fern because I have a really brown thumb when it comes to Boston Ferns, and supposedly Kimberly Queen is much easier to take care of and requires less moisture.

But the ends of the fronds are drying out, and it's dropping part of the leaves. Anything I can do to salvage it? It seems the soil is not holding much water, would it help to re-pot it with potted plant soil?

I have it sitting on a saucer with rocks and water to help the humidity. It's in the entry way, so there is no way to keep a humidifier close to it.

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Petra, I too have heard Kimberly's need less humidity than other ferns..I wonder if it's fact or fiction..:)

Most of my plants are potted in well-draining soil, but ferns need a heavier mix. Did you mix up your own soil? Is the soil drying too fast? and what about pot size?

If the pot is too small, and your house is dry, soil will naturally dry out faster. Your options are to amend the soil or water more. But soil shouldn't be soggy, especially in winter, when days are cloudy. Barely moist is fine.

Do you have a humidifer anywhere in the house? Most humidifers moisten air in more than one room. (Depending on size and type)
If it was my fern, it'd get a daily or twice a day spray/misting.
For the time being, remove dead/brown fronds. Test soil daily, to see how fast it's drying. Most plants don't need daily watering, but if it's drying to the point soil cracks, it'll either need more water or a heavier medium. (not heavy heavy,) or a larger pot. Btw, ferns don't being over-potted either. What material is your pot? Plastic, clay, etc?

One more thing. How much sun is your fern getting? My ferns are in an unobstructed, bright north..North or east exposures work best. Toni

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 7:43PM
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Now see, I can grow Bostons ferns, but had a really hard time with the kimberly fern. The humidity level must be VERY high for this fern to do well indoors.

I lost one frond every week off my kimberly, which started only days after buying one, so in a short time, the fern looked terrible, nothing but hard sticks for stems and no green left.

Maybe if it where grown with higher humidity like Toni was talking about, or inside a terrarium, or greenhouse, it would have survived just fine.
The "Boston" on the other hand does not need high humidity like many people think, just an adjustment period.

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 8:52PM
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Toni, we don't have a humidifier because we are in TX and the humidity is usually sufficient. We haven't had to run the heat much either since I bought the fern, so that isn't drying out the air. I bought it from Lowe's, it's in a plastic pot and the soil gets very dry, very fast. I soaked it in water a couple hours today and it really perked up. It is in the entry way in front of a small window, Northern exposure. What type of soil could be used for it, just regular potting soil? I'll take your advice and spray it a couple times a day, that will likely help.

Billy Rae, the little sticker that came with the fern said it needs much less humidity than Boston Ferns? I have to say this one is holding up better than any of my Bostons ever did, they always dried out fast. The Kimberley still has mostly green fronds and also lots of new fronds which aren't drying out, so far. But the dry tips on some of the fronds and the leaf shedding are making me nervous. :o]

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 10:44PM
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Petra, what size is the pot? I'd bet your fern is rootbound.
If you decide to repot, increase one to two size up.
The soil must have been dry since it perked up after soaking. Which is another option. You can always submerge pot in a bucket of water two to three times a week.

Constant touching or brushing against fronds can damage leaves, so place in a non-congested area.

My ferns are planted in rich house plant soil, a little peat, and a handful of Perlite.

Is your north window bright? Although ferns don't need full sun,(strong direct would burn fronds), medium light is best. Outide, it'd need shade, and a good amount of water. Good luck, Toni

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 12:58AM
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That's what mine did, it started at the tips and worked it's way up the fronds.I bought a Kimberly at Lowe's also, it looked nice and green and full, very healthy.That is, until it came to live at my house!

You mentioned you had trouble with a Boston. Well, if you ever want to try another one someday, I think they are worth it. They can for a time, pardon my french, look like hell, but, as the older fronds dry up, new ones are always replacing them, but this time they will be smaller and thinner in order for them to survive the change from a bright greenhouse, to lower light in the home.The older ones will dry, but not all at the same time, so you will have a messy plant for a while until ALL the fronds have been replaced. Once that happens, you'll be amazed how good it looks!
Bostons can become ugly ducklings, but then, they will turn back into a swan.

Like I mentioned in another post, with Bostons, you will always have a little drying here and there, from time to time, but, with the right watering and light, that problem can be non existent at times, or at most, very minimal. Think of it as this, change of light, change of fronds.

Unfortunately, I saw little, if any, frond replacement going on with the Kimberly. I ended up with a dried out baldy fern, even though it was wall watered.

I hope your Kimberly does well for you, it didn't like me!
Billy Rae

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 1:15AM
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Toni, the window it's in front of gets sort of muted light. The exterior of the entry is covered, so it's not super-bright. The pot is about a gallon size, ugly Lowe's nursery pot. I bet it IS root-bound, I don't feel much soil when I touch the top, just what feels like a bunch of roots. It's in the corner of the entry, so it doesn't get brushed against, but it does get molested by the kitties. :o)

Billy Rae, Boston Ferns just hate me, the one I had the longest (about a year) dwindled to one frond, which quickly deteriorated too. If the Kimberly doesn't work out, I am giving up on ferns. I just love the look of a healthy, lush fern, but it does not seem to be attainable for me. :o(

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 3:55PM
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Replying to this a bit late, I see.
I bought a KQ fern two years ago and had it out on my balcony where it did just fine. When I brought it in for the winter, mine, too, started dropping leaves left and right. A friend of mine suggested putting it in a plastic bag, which I did, and that did the trick! Sure, the plant stayed unattractive all winter, being in the bag and all, but come spring, it started growing new fronds. I did the same thing this winter, but I noticed that it REALLY looked dead, so I started to tear the dirt apart so I could reuse the pot, and there in the soil were several green "roots". Back it went in the pot and the bag and I expect to see it bounce back again this spring.
BTW, I have mine potted in miracle grow potting soil and perlite......enough to keep the soil damp but not soggy.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 9:51PM
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